Let’s talk about Overcoming fear when fear is how you see the world around you. For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with fear. Well meaning friends would say things like just Let Go and Let God, It’ll be fine, There’s nothing to worry about…and yet, I feared.
In the next few blogs, we will talk about different fears, what it looks like and why you can’t just “Do it” or “Have Faith.” Instead of dismissing someone’s fears or anxious thoughts, let’s learn compassion and offer practical help in their time of need.
Honestly, the top 3 things I really needed (and I dare say we ALL need) in my life were Sisters, Boundaries and Intimate Worship. Let’s start this bloggy convo!
Physical Fear: I grew up in a school where fist fights during the lunch break were a daily thing, bullies ran the hallways, assaults in our community seemed overwhelming.
As a young girl, the fear was real and there seemed to be no escaping it. I believed it was just a matter of time before I might fall victim to the whim of evil. Watching the news was only affirmation that my concerns were valid and we lived in an unsafe and powerful world.
My soul was cornered by fear, terrified to live but happy to be alive if that even makes sense.
Over the years, I avoided people or environments that involved intense emotions, violence, loud, anger, especially where alcohol was center stage.
Making the wrong move in public, saying something negative to someone, feeling angry myself, being around large groups, being around people who were drinking, hearing people argue, watching wrestling or boxing on tv or in real life triggered me into a flight mode.
I have lived my life looking over my shoulder, always afraid of the grab. I understood Stranger Danger, it was a thing just like Smokey the Bear Fire Danger for those back in my generation. Our education for friendliness and safety, how to be kind and nice, avoid arguments and dangerous situations was learned from Sesame Street, Family Matters, Mr Rogers, along with all the Hero and Villain lessons from everything Disney.
Of course, they used to have Officers come to the schools and walk us through Stranger Danger lessons and take our fingerprints so we could have a Safe Keeping Card for our Parents to have in the case we are ever missing. Life just felt like when, not if. They told us how to kick out a tail light to send a sign to other cars you were in the trunk! my oh my.... I would agree in a very practical way that learning and practicing some self defense would have been great.
Let's just say, I have learned a lot and plan on learning and implement more of this in this area as part of my ministry work. We will be practically equipped in courage and strength, wisdom and might with Sisters, Boundaries and Intimate Worship.
This fear of the grab stayed with me well in to adulthood. I rarely left the house after sunset for fear of walking in the dark. I remember stories of men following women in to their apartments as they carried up groceries and would just push through the door with them….ugh. It was the grab in the parking lot, or your own home. No where was actually safe.
So, I bought few groceries to only make one trip up, and quickly get in and out. To this day, I am still fully aware of my surroundings while I am out getting gas or groceries, shopping and running errands, being wise, just not panicked and fear-full..
Once I had my home, pulling in to the garage and making sure no one scooted in with the car helped, but then once we are all inside, it was checking all the doors and windows throughout the day and before bed, getting out of bed one more time to make sure the front and back doors were indeed still locked.
If you have dealt with fear, you know how real this feels. If you haven’t, you are probably thinking this is crazy! Trust us, it feels crazy, but it is such a reality.
You do what you can to feel and be safe as you go. Having an alarm on the house helped. My Mom used to spend the night with me and the 4 kiddos when my Hubby travelled every month. At least that was a nice bonus to spend that extra time with her. I was able to sleep better with her there. I would meet up with friends when I could because The Buddy System is not only fun but helped me relax!
It took time, but I learned to walk in the posture of Authority. I prayed myself up and kept my head up, literally! I used to avoid eye contact and keep my head down walking around yet always hyper aware of my surroundings to see the Grabbers if they were around waiting.
If you're a Mama of littles, start now with facing the fears becuase I am here to say the fear doesn't go away as they get older. You will wish you could 5 point harness them in a stroller and keep them connected to you and wish they could simply use a diaper and not go into the Public bathrooms. Fear is the issue!
Fear IS a Liar!!!
Gracious God, the chains fear had on me finally broke off in 2009.
I had spent so much time scared to live and make myself feel safe that I never put on The Armor. I never asked my King to guard our walls. I didn’t understand how an “invisible God” could fight my tangible threats…
Oh me of little faith...and little trust.
Friend, if this is you too, breathe. There are so many practical things, especially nowadays you can do from gadgets to apps to help protect your home, but today, I encourage you to ask God to help you be strong and confident in His Armor.
Nothing can separate you from His care and in Him, you are more than a Conqueror. He sees you and He is near. You can have sweet sleep, You can feel prepared and equipped in Him in both your flesh and your spirit. The battle really is His.
Circle your fears with Sisterhood.
Share your fears and nervousness and Buddy Up for things as you practice walking out your courage, taking thoughts captive and doing your part, allowing God to do His!
Circle your fears with Boundaries.
Set your own comfort levels to say yes or no to certain events, places, relationships. Pray yourself up and listen to the leading and protection of The Lord. The Holy Spirit is your Helper. Learn to listen to Him.
Circle your fears with Intimate Worship.
Worship means a lot of things to different people. Intimate worship deep dives all the way in to the center of us, to the protected guarded places we don’t allow anyone in to, often including God, because we struggle to trust and surrender.
Today, we choose to give God the keys to us, our home and our heart. We declare a surrender to His protection and provision knowing that nothing happens He is unaware of and with Him, we can do all things!
Can something happen to us, sure. You can grab my list here of some of the very simple and practical things I have implemented to feel confident. They seems so common sense, but it takes intentionality and that's something you must prepare and work on consistently to create new healthy habits.
This side of glory is evil, but it is also good, because He is here amongst us. He is near. He goes before us, stands behind us and fights with us! To imagine the great cloud of witnesses, to imagine angels entertained around us, to know God does exceedingly and abundantly more than we can think or imagine is peace.
Surrender is Peace.
Trust is Peace.
God is Peace.
Less of me God, More of you.
Sister, you are safe in His care and in His arms. He’s got you and you can have peace. Armor Up and don't forget the shoes of Peace.
All the love and courage,
Your Sister Michele
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Heart Hugs and Blessings,